Warriors

Warriors draft pick Wiseman pumped to join his 'guy' Steph

Warriors

Steph Curry hosted some of the best high school basketball prospects in the world in the Bay Area during the summer of 2018, instructing over two dozen of the game's most promising talents and leading them on a service project at Oakland's Bushrod Community Center.

One of them now is Curry's teammate.

Memphis center James Wiseman, whom the Warriors selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night, attended Curry's camp that year. The two-time league MVP posted a picture of the pair from the camp on his Instagram soon after Golden State drafted Wiseman.

"I have a great relationship with Steph," Wiseman said on a video conference call with reporters after he was selected. "Obviously, I went to his camp, so he taught me a lot. When I was in high school, he taught me a lot about the game of basketball, gave me a lot of information. I just took a picture with him. So, that's my guy."

Wiseman was the nation's top recruit coming out of East High School in Memphis, staying local to play for NBA veteran Penny Hardaway in college. The 19-year-old played just three games for Memphis last season, leaving the program last December while serving a 12-game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits.

 

The NCAA determined that Hardaway acted as a university booster when, as the coach of East in 2017, he paid the Wiseman family $11,500 for moving expenses when the center transferred to East. Hardaway previously had donated $1 million in 2008 to the athletic department at Memphis, his alma mater.

Wiseman told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski in February that the experience was "heartbreaking," and the big man revealed to reporters the ordeal was part of the reason he was moved to tears after the Warriors drafted him.

"Why I busted out in tears is because I've been through a lot," Wiseman said. "I text my teammates every day in Memphis. I wanted that moment with my teammates. Just seeing all that becoming like a downfall. Man, I would just have to bust out in tears because I've been through a lot of adversity in my life."

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Wiseman repeatedly made it clear to reporters that he considers joining the Warriors a tremendous opportunity to learn. He said he wants to "take in as much as possible" from coach Steve Kerr and veterans like Curry.

The center already got a taste of it two years ago in Curry's camp. Now, he'll pick up even more as Curry's teammate.